Tech (Text) Neck
While text neck (or tech neck) is not an actual medical diagnosis, it has become a term commonly used for a repetitive stress injury where excessive use of a mobile device (with a combination of poor posture or lack of exercise) is believed to be the primary cause. This is also known as "forward head posture" and typically looks like head forward, shoulders rounded, and back slumped.
With technology and media becoming more prevalent in our everyday work and personal lives, text neck has become a widespread issue amongst us all.
The average head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. The repetitive body position of looking down at our phone, tablet, or computer device results in an upper body posture that extends the neck forward. The further our head and neck are extended forward and down, the more our head weighs and puts an unnatural strain on our neck, shoulders, and back. Some people explain it as feeling the weight of a bowling ball on their shoulders: heavy and constant strain.
Common symptoms of text neck include:
pain or stiffness in the neck, upper/mid back, and/or shoulders
forward head posture and rounded shoulders
eye pain or strain
Obviously, ditching the tech devices and stopping our daily tasks isn't an option for most of us but what we CAN do is change and learn good habits to prevent the pains and aches associated with text neck.
Ways to prevent text neck:
hold devices at eye level
tuck chin back and roll shoulders backward
take breaks from mobile devices or computers
set reminders to switch positions (sit to stand) or stretch
make sure you have an ergonomic work setup
get chiropractic care and do rehabilitation
At Pro Performance Movement, we have certified athletic trainers ready to help with text neck or anything similar. We will assess your condition, educate you on stretches and exercises, and work with you to manage this as soon as possible. We can also recommend products that will help restore the spine to proper healthy curvature and prevent any more stress and pain on your body.
Some common stretches/exercises that we often recommend in our office include:
downward dog (yoga pose)
door pec stretches
foam roll snow angels
Products we sell or recommend to correct posture:
1. Cervical Denneroll
Denneroll devices (specifically for the cervical spine, which address the neck) can be extremely beneficial for correcting tech neck. The devices are specifically designed to allow the neck to relax into proper posture, and as tension and stiffness melt away, the body is able to reform itself long-term with continued and regular usage.
2. Pillowise Custom Pillows
It is very important to sleep on a pillow that isn't too high or too low. We measure and fit you to a custom pillow size. A pillow in your size will perfectly align to your cervical spine and keeps you aligned throughout the night. These pillows have quickly helped our patients alleviate and prevent neck pains.
Recognizing bad posture and being willing to correct it is the first step in the right direction to correct text neck or neck pains in general! Once you recognize that you have this issue, then it's up to you to change your habits. With a combination of corrective exercises and products, you can achieve reversal and prevention of neck pain.
Schedule a rehab appointment with us and we will help you through exercises and a treatment plan. If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com or ask our providers in office at your next appointment.